Would it help to have some agreed standards on this?
I'm working on a product which will need to categorize/tag products based on the rights you have, so I'd like to create a definitive list of Rights and what they mean.
I'm creating such a list, which I'll post here for comments - but in the meantime, I'd be interested in any input - particularly the sorts of things that are confusing/ambiguous.
This added after Post #7 was posted:
OK - here's my analysis: even more complex than I expected, but I don't think it can be simplified and still cover all possible cases. Perhaps I'm still missing some cases.
Let me know...
Here is a graphic summary of my suggestions for classifying product rights.
Here are all the dreadful details, for anyone with the patience to go through it. Constructive criticism welcome!
Rights and Restrictions
A product has a set of RIGHTS which define what you can do with it, and a set of RESTRICTIONS which specify what you may NOT do with it. Primarily, the Restrictions limit what you can do when re-selling the product, but there may be other restrictions as well.
Product Rights fall into four categories:
- Usage Rights (e.g. Personal Use, Personal Single-Use, Personal Multiple-Use etc.)
- Selling Rights (e.g. Resell Rights, Master Resell Rights etc.)
- Giving Rights (e.g. Give-Away Rights, Master Give-Away Rights etc.)
- Derivation/Incorporation Rights (e.g. Public Label Rights)
Depending on the circumstances, a product may be (and often must be) sold with rights in more than one of those categories.
These are described in more detail below.
These can take many different forms, and I haven’t attempted to formalise them. Examples are:
- May only be given away as part of a bonus for a product selling for $X or more
- May not be added to a paid membership site unless the monthly fee exceeds $X
- May not be added to a free membership site
- May not sell Resell Rights for less than $X
- May not be packaged with more than N other products
- May not be included as a bonus with more than N other bonuses
- May not sell on eBay or Dime Sales
Master Rights vs. Transferable Rights
One of the main areas of confusion in product rights is the idea of Master Resell Rights. On the whole, that term has not been used correctly.
The proper meaning of Master Resell Rights is that you can sell Resell Rights. Which means the people you sell to can only sell Personal Use rights.
If the terms state that you can ALSO sell Master Resell Rights – what that really means is that:
- You can sell Master Resell Rights
- Your customers can therefore sell Resell Rights and…
- Your customer’s customers can sell for Personal Use only
Usually that is NOT what product developers want: what they want is to allow anyone, all down the line, to be able to have resell rights.
To fix this, we can either change the definition of Master Resell Rights or introduce a new term. I think it’s a bad idea to change the definition, and in any case, introducing a new term provides more options.
So, I propose using the term Transferable Resell Rights and then we get the following definitions:
Resell Rights means:
You can sell some form of Usage Rights only (e.g. Personal Use)
Master Resell Rights means:
You can sell some form of Usage Rights (e.g. Personal Use) AND you can sell Resell Rights
Transferable Resell Rights means:
You can sell some form of Usage Rights (e.g. Personal Use) AND you can sell Resell Rights AND you can sell Transferable Resell Rights
It’s only when we include Transferable Resell Rights in the definition of Transferable Resell Rights that the rights get passed all the way down the line. (That's the magic of recursive definitions!)
In fact, that idea of Master Rights vs. Transferable Rights needs be applied not just to Selling Rights, but also to Giving Rights and Derivation Rights: see below.
List Of Rights And Their Meanings
These rights are to do with using the product, rather than selling it.
o Personal Use
Can be used, not sold.
o Personal Single-Use
Used where necessary to distinguish from Multi-Use
o Personal Multi-Use
In some cases there is a need to distinguish between Single-Use and Multi-Use. E.g. where a script/plugin/theme/graphics/images etc. could be used on multiple sites, all owned by the customer.
Neither the product, nor anything it is used in, may be sold.
If the product includes PLR, it may be modified.
There may or may not be royalties payable.
o Developers License
This is the same as Personal Multi-Use, except that the product/website etc. that includes the purchased product may be sold, or it may belong to a client.
These rights define who can sell the product. The product itself cannot be changed or modified in any way.
If there are any materials provided to help sell the product (e.g. a website) there may or may not be restrictions on how that material may be used or modified. (The product originator should make that clear.)
o Resell Rights
Can sell the product with the appropriate Usage Rights. If there is any doubt, the specific type of Usage Rights should be specified as part of the rights.
o Master Resell Rights
Can sell the product with the appropriate Usage Rights AND/OR with Resell Rights
o Transferable Resell Rights
Call sell the product with the appropriate Usage Rights AND/OR with Resell Rights AND/OR with Transferable Resell Rights
As with Selling Rights, Giving Rights do no allow the product itself to be changed or modified in any way, (unless what is being Given includes PLR).
As with Selling Rights, if there are any materials provided to help give away the product (e.g. a website or squeeze page) there may or may not be restrictions on how that material may be used or modified. (The product originator should make that clear.)
With Giving Rights, it’s necessary to specify exactly WHAT RIGHTS are being given away:
- Is it just the product for Personal Use?
- Are some other Rights included (e.g. Resell Rights) ?
o Give-Away Rights
Can give the product away with the appropriate Rights.
o Master Give-Away Rights
Can give the product away with appropriate Rights
AND/OR with Give-Away Rights. (This only makes sense if the rights included with the Give-Away Rights doesn’t itself include Give-Away Rights!)
o Transferable Give-Away Rights
Can give the product away with appropriate Rights
AND/OR with Give-Away Rights
AND/OR with Transferable Give-Away Rights. (This only makes sense if the rights included with the Give-Away Rights doesn’t itself include Give-Away Rights!)
These rights allow the product to be used in whole or in part to
- Create a derived product/products (e.g. a re-titled eBook, based on an eBook)
- Be incorporated into another product, website etc. (e.g. intro music added to a set of videos)
For a derived product, the purchaser may, for example:
- Change the name of the product and re-brand it
- Change/add to/delete part of the content/functionality of the product
- Claim ownership (but perhaps only if a substantial changes are made to the content/functionality)
For an incorporated product, it may be possible to amend it (e.g. if the product is PLR graphics, perhaps they can be changed before use).
Sometimes, the content many be completely re-purposed and re-packaged (e.g. chapters in an eBook can be re-purposed as articles or posts).
The original product developer must define any restrictions on the creation of derived products and usage for incorporation.
The original product developer should also state what type of rights (i.e. what Usage Rights – and optionally what Selling Rights or Giving Rights) can be passed on with any derived product (or with the unchanged product if nothing is changed).
o Public Label Rights
Can create derived products (according to the terms) and can sell them with appropriate Usage Rights – and optionally Selling Rights and/or Giving Rights (according to the terms)
Can incorporate the product into another product, website etc.
o Master Public Label Rights
Same as Public Label Rights
AND/OR can sell Public Label Rights to the original product.
o Transferable Public Label Rights
Same as Public Label Rights
AND/OR can sell Public Label Rights to the original product
AND/OR can sell Transferable Public Label Rights.
o Unrestricted Public Label Rights
There are no restrictions on the creation of derived products and there are no restrictions what or how anything can be sold.
An OTO Plugin for WordPress could be sold:
For Personal Single-Use (no other rights).
- Can be used on one website only.
- Can sell the product and give Personal Single-Use Rights
- Can give it away or sell it – in both cases with Personal Single-Use Rights
- Sell Resell Rights and purchasers get Personal Multi-Use rights.
- Can give it away to people who can use it (on a single site) and give it away to others with exactly the same rights
- Sell it for people to use personally (on multiple sites)
- Sell it with Resell Rights, so the people you sell to can sell it for personal use (on multiple sites)
- Sell it with Master Resell Rights, so people you sell it to can sell Resell Rights (with multi-site personal usage)
- Sell it with Transferable Resell Rights, so people you sell it to, and people THEY sell it to etc. can also sell it with Resell Rights (with multi-site personal usage)
- Can create a derived product (or just take the product as it stands, if the terms allow that) and sell it with Personal Multi-Use rights
- Can create a derived product (or just take the product as it stands, if the terms allow that) and sell it with Master RR (with Personal Multi-Use)
- Can create a derived product (or just take the product as it stands, if the terms allow that) and sell it with “Transferable PLR for Master RR” i.e. your customers, and their customers and their customers etc. can create derived products and sell them with Master RR (with Personal Multi-Use)
- Can use the product on your own website
- Can use the product on websites which you sell and/or develop for customers (depending on the terms)
- Unless you also have some other rights, you cannot sell the product on its own
If you read this far - thanks!